Today, the Norman Police Department will honor law enforcement officers who passed away in the line of duty with an evening memorial service. It's an excellent opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices the men and women of law enforcement make every day to keep us safe.

The event will take place at Legacy Park at 5 p.m. and the public is invited. We encourage you to take the time to participate and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Norman Police Department, Cleveland County Sheriff's Office and OU police department do a great job of managing a city that's spread out geographically, has thousands of students in and out each year, and features several massive events each year that undoubtedly present a challenge for law enforcement, from OU football games to Norman Music Festival. It's rare to hear of incidents at these events, more evidence of the excellent job our local law enforcement does.

And when there have been incidents that demonstrate a need for change and growth, both Norman police and the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office had shown a willingness to engage with the community, listen to concerns and change. The focus on community policing from NPD has demonstrated the department values building relationships with the community. Those relationships will never be perfect, but if having open lines of communication and dialogue that's based on mutual respect goes a long way.

It will be important for the next Norman police chief to continue former chief Keith Humphrey's commitment to community policing, someone who will work to build relationships throughout our community.

We want to commend Cleveland County Sheriff Todd Gibson and his leadership team as well for flipping the script at the sheriff's office and building a culture that focuses on serving the community. Gibson has been a breath of fresh air, a dedicated public servant our community should be proud of.

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